Engine trouble eliminates Nash as title rivals capitalise on demise

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James Nash’s weekend was cut short as engine trouble ruled him out of the latest round in the TCR International Series at the famous Imola circuit in Italy last weekend.

The Newport Pagnell man’s Bamboo Racing Lukoil SEAT broke down in Race One, eliminating him from a solid position.

And with only half an hour between the two races, Nash’s crew couldn’t complete the engine replacement in time for him to make the grid, and Nash had to watch on from the sidelines.

Nash’s no-score at Imola means championship leader Pepe Oriola, and Nash’s team mate, extended his lead over Nash by picking up 32 unanswered points, while Stefano Comini climbed the order, picking up 45 points from his Italian weekend.

Veteran racer Gianni Morbidelli, like Nash, failed to score in either race, but his five points in qualifying also see him climb above Nash, who now sits fourth overall after four rounds.

“It’s a superb track and we had great weather but sadly for me, it was a very challenging day,” said Nash afterwards.

“I got the engine sensor lights on the dash early into the first race and experienced an immediate loss of power.

“It certainly took those behind me by surprise too if you look at the damage to the rear of my car.

“I pitted and the team tried to fix it but the problem persisted.

“Unfortunately, with only 30 minutes between the two races there just wasn’t enough time to change the unit.

“At the moment we don’t know the cause of the problem and likely won’t until its been fully stripped down.

“But there’s no point in getting too upset, these things can happen.

“Nevertheless, it was difficult watching Pepe (Oriola) stretch his lead over me unopposed and to watch Comini bag a lot of points to come right into contention.

“At least Morbidelli had trouble too so I know things could have been worse.”

The fifth round of the 11-event TCR International Series is at the Salzburgring in Austria in two weeks time.

It is a circuit Nash is very much looking forward to revisiting having raced there twice before, and it is the venue of his first World Touring Car Championship race victory in 2013, and he hopes it will bring him luck.

He said: “Me and my team will bounce back starting in Austria next time out.

“The Salzburgring was good to me the last time I raced there and hopefully, will be again.”